Isaiah Washington, the talented actor whose career was derailed for a bit after an “f-word” scandal on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, has just completed work on Blackbird, the new film from Noah’s Arc creator and openly gay director Patrik-Ian Polk. The film, which doesn’t yet have a release date, is centered around a gay teen singer who struggles with his sexuality in a small town. Washington plays his sympathetic father.
For those unfamiliar with the Grey’s Anatomy incident, Washington was the source of a lot of bad press after word got out that he’d used the “f-word” to describe then-closeted costar T.R. Knight in a heated altercation with co-star Patrick Dempsey over his alleged perpetual tardiness. Washington sealed his fate by uttering the slur again after making the ill-fated decision to answer a question from a reporter concerning the incident after the 2007 Golden Globe Awards. He was subsequently written out of the show.
Though branded a raging homophobe after Operation: Knightshade, gay characters and themes are nothing new to Washington. Way back in 1996, he played gay in Spike Lee’s Get On The Bus, a film about a disparate group of black men en route to the Million Man March in Washington, DC. Critics lauded his performance, which was one of the first representations of an African-American gay male seen onscreen, and the film itself was even nominated for a GLAAD Media Award the next year.
Whether Washington can redeem himself with the help of one of the most popular gay writer-directors around is yet to be seen, but we’ll definitely be on the lookout for Blackbird to take flight in the coming year.
Photo: ABC/TV Guide